Social media videos are a great way to engage customers and put a personal “face” to your business, but most of these videos are little more than a talking head.  Why not take advantage of the great opportunities that well-designed and executed social media videos provide?

Most businesses and PR agencies these days are using HD video cameras of some sort, whether it’s an inexpensive Flip camera or something more elaborate.  The high-definition frame is widescreen, and it packs a lot more “visual real estate” than previous cameras offered.  If you are featuring only one person in your video, that leaves a great deal of wasted space on each side that can be harnessed to add some informational and visual impact for your videos.  Here are a few things to consider:

Brand yourself with a “bug.”  In the television business, a station’s logo in the bottom corner of the picture is known as a “bug.”  Sticking a “bug” in your videos is a great way to brand your business and the ideas you’re trying to convey with your social media videos.  Using even low-cost video editing programs like Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD, you can easily implement a logo “bug” on your videos.TIP:   Be aware of any graphic “overlays” that may be placed on your video by the video sharing service you use to host and embed your videos.  For example, you often see a YouTube logo superimposed in the lower-right corner of your video when embedded into a website, or when viewed in HD.  Keep your logo “bug” and other on-screen graphics away from the lower-right corner to avoid getting obscured.

Utilize unused areas in your video frame as a digital “whiteboard.”  If your video features a single person, you can reclaim the unused area of your widescreen video frame to use as a digital “whiteboard.”  You see this often on local television newscasts, where the anchor is framed to the left of the screen, and graphics or text appear on the right.  In an HD widescreen frame, there’s even more room with which to play.  Programs like the aforementioned Sony Vegas have built in text generator plugins that can be used to fill your unused screen space with text.  If your subject is talking about a weighty or complicated subject, putting “bullet points” or key facts next to them reinforces their message as a Powerpoint presentation would to a public speaker.You can also put graphics on the screen, or even superimpose other video to create a picture-in-picture effect.  The sky’s the limit!
Shoot your video in a visually appealing location.  Even if you don’t choose to go the extra mile with on-screen graphics, be aware of how much background an HD video frame gives you.  Why not fill that background with something more visually-appealing than a cubicle wall?  Consider shooting your videos in a place that adds relevant and visual interest to your video.  For example, if you’re shooting a social media video for a bank, why not shoot it in the lobby of the bank instead of an office?  If your camera features optical zoom, you can set the camera further back and then zoom in on your subject, softening the background to keep the focus on your subject.  (Just remember to use an external mic so your subject can be heard loud and clear!)Also be mindful of the background of your video being brighter than the foreground.  Shooting in front of bright, sunsplashed windows can create dark silhouetted subjects in front of bright, overpowering backgrounds.  Keep your subject’s lighting in balance with their surroundings, and avoid the dreaded “nuclear winter” effect of bad backlighting.

Social media video is a great tool to connect with your customers, and HD video offers a wealth of opportunities to make your message stand out from the crowd.  If you take advantage of all the visual real estate that the high-definition widescreen frame affords you, there’s no limit to